PATH Investigates Hurricane Impact on Housing Technologies

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To assess how housing performed during the recent Florida hurricanes, PATH technical staff traveled to Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte in September to examine site-built and manufactured housing. The team was looking for information on what worked and how PATH research or technologies could improve housing in the future.

Garage Doors, Shutters, Hip Roofs

The preliminary conclusions of the team were that the newer housing performed quite well, with minimal damage to the structure. Homes with reinforced garage doors, hurricane shutters, and hip roofs resisted significant damage, demonstrating the value of such investments. All three of these approaches served to protect the building enclosure, preventing wind and water from entering the home.

This Pine Island, Florida home (left) was near the eye of Hurricane Charley yet was virtually undamaged (note minor soffit damage on right side of photo). This home used a hip roof (no large gables) covered with a very durable metal roof. The hurricane shutters protected the doors and windows.

Manufactured Housing

In general, newer manufactured homes performed well, suggesting that the 1994 HUD-code changes, following Hurricane Andrew, were effective. Combined with the installation standards enacted by the State of Florida in 1999, manufactured housing withstood the severe weather. HUD and PATH will be working to further evaluate the performance of manufactured housing.

This photo shows foundation detail for a HUD-Code home in the Punta Gorda Isles area of Punta Gorda. This home was not damaged significantly during Hurricane Charley. This home was built to the 1994 post-Hurricane Andrew Manufactured Housing code and installed to the 1999 Florida installation requirements. Notice the large number of ties to the anchors in the ground.


Roofing seemed to have suffered the greatest damage in the Punta Gorda area, with damage occurring to both tile and shingle roofs. Because many homes with tile or shingle roofs had only modest roof damage, this suggests that, given the magnitude of the event, that better understanding roofing performance is needed. In response, PATH is initiating a new roadmapping effort to examine how we can improve the performance of roofs. Over the next few years PATH will be conducting research that can make roofing systems more disaster resistant, more durable, and more energy efficient.

PATH will be coordinating with other researchers who have performed investigations in Florida to ensure the homebuilding industry has access to information that can be used to improve the housing provided to America’s families.

Additional PATH Resources

Guide to Foundation and Support Systems for Manufactured Homes March 2002
This guide helps decision makers in formulating a strategy for sorting among foundation and support system alternatives and describes factors that impact the design and construction process. The guide also exposes the manufactured housing industry and buyers to some of the more popular and practical ways of designing and installing manufactured home foundation or support systems.

Manufactured Home Installation Training Manual
This manual lays out all the issues that need to be considered while installing a HUD-Code home. It addresses the installation of both new and used homes, and its chapters follow the steps commonly taken to install such a home. The narrative discusses relevant issues in objective detail and emphasizes the reasons for a specific procedure.

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